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Special Operations Command South Announces Move to Florida

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2003 – U.S. Special Operations Command announced plans Nov. 18 to relocate its headquarters that provides command and control for special operations in Central and South America to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., by March 31, 2004.

U.S. Special Operations Command South is currently based at Roosevelt Roads Naval Base, Puerto Rico, which is slated to close.

The 150-member Special Operations Command South staff about 90 military members and 60 civilians and their families will move to the new headquarters, according to Sgt. Maj. Keith Butler from the SOC public affairs office.

In addition to people, the headquarters will also move its tactical and nontactical vehicles and parachute items so its members can maintain airborne proficiency, he said.

SOCSOUTH will continue carrying out its missions throughout the move. The subordinate command's forces conduct counternarcotics operations, provide multinational training, and host symposiums for Latin American countries on combating terrorism, among other missions, Butler said.

Army Gen. Bryan D. Brown, SOC commander, chose Homestead over other possible relocation sites largely because it is close to U.S. Southern Command headquarters in Miami, officials said. USSOUTHCOM is the unified command responsible for all U.S. military activities in Central and South America.

Butler said members of SOCSOUTH are "really exited about the move" and the opportunity it will offer for closer coordination between the SOCSOUTH and SOUTHCOM staffs.

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